How social is social media?

I am going to stray from my more typical subject matters.

Is “Social Media” becoming a misnomer?  How social is a lot of what we call social media?  In my experience, not very.

I co-manage a business with my wife.  We recently hired a consultant to get us up and running with “Social Media”.  Namely, Facebook and twitter.

I have had a personal Facebook page for years.  I will unfriend anyone who peppers me with solicitation.  Yet I found myself creating a Facebook page for our company.  And of course, establishing a twitter account.  We even went to our first Tweet-up last month.

How effective has all this been in getting us new business?  Not very.  Why?  I believe because it isn’t sincere.  We are not being social in our intentions.  We are hunting.  We are seeking attention.  We are subtly soliciting.

Yet, my personal Facebook page is thriving.  I have great dialogues daily.  I reconnect with old friends.  I even helped organize a school reunion last year via Facebook.  Likewise my twitter account.  I stay connected with and meet many people weekly.  I exchange laughs and brief dialogues with many who I would otherwise not have time for.

One may even consider this blog social media.  I have nothing to sell and in fact remain fairly anonymous so I can speak freely and candidly about matters of importance.

I still believe there is a place for Facebook, twitter, and other communication tools to aid in developing business.  I just feel we need to get real and stop calling them social.  In many cases, they are tools that are used predatorily. 

Thats my experience.  Yours?

Ciao.

Chaz

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About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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6 Responses to How social is social media?

  1. I guess Social media has lost its meaning with the way changes are happening. it is too crowded.

  2. Hey Chaz,
    The reason I came to Facebook was simple. A close friend had lymphoma and was very sick and it brought together all the friends we were in High School. It was a team building exercise in group prayer. And although I have 60 friends on Facebook today, many of them are sober friends and we share here and there. I don’t need a twitter… what for? I am too old for twitter to make a dent in my social life. I have my blog. It is my main tool to reach my friends and fellows. Because it cross posts on all my social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, And WordPress.

    I grew up in the 80’s when communication was simple face to face. I like my friends close and they are. We talk through the blog and on email. But I think that social media is becoming tainted and like you say predatory. Look at how kids are dropping left and right because of the ills of bullying on social media sites like Tumblr and You tube. This isn’t a good omen for sure. Kids are suffering the scourge of sick kids doing bad things with impunity. It is a sad comment on what social media has become.
    Jeremy…

    • Chaz says:

      Hey Jeremy…. thanks for the reply. Humanity seems to invariably contort most innovation into something harmful. Social media seemed to have been a tool that grew orgaincially out of a need or desire for people to communicate socially. To help build relationships. Yet we seem to be following that age old habit of self-destruction. Perhaps it was just a matter of time. Will be interesting to see where all of this goes.

      Nice to hear from you as always.

      Ciao.

      Chaz

  3. Heidi says:

    I attended some social media conferences when I was trying to become a genuine freelance writer a couple of years ago. Know what I learned? ‘Social’ is a misnomer for marketing. Almost to a person, everyone hated the idea of having to get on the bandwagon and develop the social media angle of marketing, but there they were. The only truly happy and ‘social’ people were the presenters. Everyone else slunk around trying to figure out how to learn what they needed without having to interact with anyone else! What a memorable experience. I saw some pretty money going to some slick people… But then, I was once a trainer. I should know.

    • Chaz says:

      Hi Heidi…. so perhaps this was “Reluctantly Social Media”? :).

      Yes, misnomer sums it up. Forced socialization of any type is not genuine. I am not saying twitter and facebook are not useful marketing tools. I think we just need to get past the notion of falsely social environments… or simpler yet, just call social media something else.

      Ciao.

      Chaz

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